Who is Amy Edmondson?
Amy Edmondson is a professor at Harvard Business School and a luminary in the realms of leadership and organizational behavior. She is most renowned for her groundbreaking work on psychological safety — the idea that a team can reach peak performance when everyone feels secure enough to express themselves openly and authentically. Her theories and research have impacted countless organizations, shedding light on how both individuals and teams can thrive in an increasingly complex world. So, it goes without saying, having her acknowledge my work is akin to a cherished dream I never knew I had.
A Peculiar Intersection
I had the distinct privilege of having Amy Edmondson repost my LinkedIn summary. While it might appear as a simple act of reposting, it is a profound intersection of values, ideas, and above all, an unanticipated validation from someone I deeply admire.
The post in question was my take on an event where Amy Edmondson was speaking, which I attended via livestream. The prospect of having this sort of "direct" connection, even if only virtual, felt quite momentous, especially because the topic discussed resonates deeply with me: humanity in the workplace.
Keeping the Inner Flame Alive
For years, I've felt like "corporate employee number 12345," whose inner fire was slowly being extinguished by the weight of bureaucratic structures and a lack of meaningful engagement. There's a real cost to letting our 'humanity' wither away in the cold corridors of corporate life. From spending large parts of my salary on childcare to receiving little emotional nourishment in return, I could feel the intensity of my inner flame dwindling.
The good news? I found my way out and, more importantly, a way to help others navigate the labyrinthine complexities of corporate cultures.
The Role of Leadership in Oxygenating the Inner Flame
Through training programs designed for both large and small companies, I remind individuals that keeping their inner flame alive is fundamentally an individual responsibility. However, leaders bear an incredible amount of power and responsibility in providing the oxygen that fuels these flames. Their actions, or lack thereof, can either cultivate a vibrant culture or snuff out the very essence of what makes their team members human.
The Impact: Real-life Nuggets
The reward in this profession is not merely financial; it's far more fulfilling. Just in the past few weeks, the feedback I've received has been both touching and affirming. One manager was "painfully reminded of how essential effective communication is," while another participant thanked me for aiding them in crafting a negotiation proposal that garnered support from higher-ups.
These are the nuggets of gold that remind me of the impact I have — a far cry from the days of feeling like a mere cog in a machine. This reaffirms my commitment to assist people in understanding each other better and fostering environments that celebrate, rather than stifle, the human spirit.
Amy Edmondson’s nod was more than an unexpected delight; it was a clear signal that the dialogues we are engaging in are both necessary and impactful. I look forward to using this gift to help more and more people work better together, finding their own path to keeping their inner flame alive.
I'm always open for a conversation if your organization is seeking to align itself more closely with the values of authenticity, sincerity, and impact. Feel free to reach out.